It never, ever fails.
You think some day we’d catch him napping, or in the can, or something other than staring out his window.
We can’t make it halfway across the street before he’s strutting out his door and striding across the grass, bellowing “LEASH YOUR DOG PLEASE!”
We call him “Park Boss” for fun. As in, “who made you park boss? you’re not the boss of me!”
Playgrounds clearly bring out my inner 8-year-old.
Truth is though, I am a little intimidated. What if he really is the park boss?
He’s a man of about 70. Or if he’s not 70, life has dealt him enough blows so he looks a septagenarian. He lives in a little house on the corner of the park. I’m not sure exactly why there is a little house on the park – it looks misplaced. Like the city wanted to buy up the land for greenspace, and he just refused to go. The grandfather’s been grandfathered.
And he clearly considers it his duty to ensure that all dogs who enter the park, which isn’t designated as an off-leash area, remain firmly tethered to their owners. If he does have any jurisdiction to ticket the not-so-law-abiding dog owners of the neighbourhood, he certainly hasn’t exercised it yet, that I’ve seen.
But he still watches.
All the way down the sidewalk, past his window, where I see his shadow flash from the front window, to the side. Then the door opens if Sasha even looks at the expanse of grass and trees and leaves without overt evidence that she’s leashed.
Then it comes.
“LEASH YOUR DOG PLEASE! THIS IS A PLAYGROUND, FOR KIDS NOT DOGS! IT’S FOR THE GOOD OF EVERYONE! YOU CAN LET YOUR DOG RUN FREE ACROSS THE BRIDGE!”
Nevermind that the other side of the footbridge that bisects the park isn’t any more an off-leash area according to the law. But clearly the city laws don’t apply here. This is Park Boss’s turf.
And though I always fancied myself a rebel, I never did have the gumption or tenacity to follow through on that.
So I do as I’m told.
Park Boss saves the day, again.